Fresno firefighter helps man keep piece of childhood home alive

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "It was a sad day not just for me and the Melikian family, but for the community downtown," says Eshkan Melikian.

After flames tore through his childhood home, Melikian thought any chance of passing down that part of his history, to future generations, was beyond repair until now.

"We saved part of history, and we can thank the Fresno Fire Department for that."

A wheel fixed to the attic of the house his parents moved into in 1949 can now hang in the Melikian household after firefighter Trevor Winters took on the restoration project.

"Even though the house is gone and destroyed, we still have a piece of it and we can share it with everybody," Melikian said.

Woodworking is a hobby Winters picked up from his father, but this was the first time he was approached for a project of this magnitude.

"It's all the same original wood and fixed the corners," Winters told Melikian. "I took out all of the nails and kept them in a jar so if you want to use them to hang pictures or do whatever with them. "

With the wood being 119 years old and now fire-damaged, the task at hand wasn't easy.

"I was kinda nervous and scared because I didn't want to disappoint him," Winters said. "I knew how much the wheel meant to him."

Timelapse video shows just a portion of the roughly 80 hours of work that went into it.

"I started with a bunch of scraping with a putty knife, a lot of sanding disassembling," Winters said. "Every day, I got to see it come back to life a little bit more, so that just excited me to work on it even further.

So much that he added a frame and metalwork, placing the Melikian family name and the address of where the homes were originally located, before moving to Santa Clara and M Street.

A piece of family history the Melikians plan to pass down for generations.

"Now you're a part of my life," Melikian said.
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